Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Emergency preparedness from the other side of the pond

Good guidance is often hard to come by, particularly for free.  Most standards to which we must operate are usually published by somebody that wants a chunk-o-change for the priviledge of reading the rules by which we must abide.  In the United States the NFPA manuals & books, ANSI standards, ASTM standards, PLASA / ESTA standards, and most Buiding Codes are priced anywhere form $20-30 bucks up to several hundreds of dollars.  Now that's not so bad if you only need one of the books, but for most of us in the theatre industry, we need maybe 15 to 50 of these to cover our collective bacon on all of the hazards and project types we are typically exposed to or involved with.  This can really add-up quick.  Especially when they change with locality and adoption dates.  Think about this the next time you hire and Architect, Engineer, or Theatre Consultant - part of your fees go to keep this library up-to-date so that they can prescribe the best and most current designs that satisfy the local code requirements.

There are a few free publications out there, too.  So here are some good resources that won't break the bank:

American's with Disabilities Act (commonly known as the ADA):

Occupational Health Safety Administration (OSHA):

National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH):
(Great ladder safety info here!)

And with a big thank-you for the United Kingdom government:
This is a set of Fire Safety Risk Assessment Guides that clearly and logically cover many different types of performance venues.  They may be metric (oh, the horror!) and they may be formatted on funny sized paper, but doggonit, these are good guides!

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